Dollars to Pounds: Hot Horizons

October 28, 2010

Hot Horizons is a band started by brothers Jake and Rory McCarthy. They look pretty young, and while their songs are full of notions peculiar to youth (i.e. optimism and hope), they are also grand and wise and a little bit wistful. Their music is autumnal and unabashedly romantic so it's fitting their debut single called "October" is out in October. Here for the first time is that song's majestic, newly mastered b-side "Spoken." I spoke to Jake and Rory about skateboarding, coats, and Kanye.

Download: Hot Horizons, "Spoken"

October is probably my favourite month, mainly because it's always nice to start wearing coats again. I love coats. Is "October" your favourite month too?
Jake: October is definitely my favourite month. I love wearing coats and too many layers and going out on days when it's really sunny but cold enough that you can see your breath and even though that makes it sound like I also like long walks on the beach and eating ice cream on a rainy day with a duvet, it's true. It's a month that conjures up a lot of memories for me, something that's addressed in the song.

The last time we spoke you told me about recording a song with Sam Eastgate in a stairwell that "looked like it was stolen from the 1920s or a cruise ship." have you started recording in studios yet?
Rory: No, we've recorded in studios before and never got anything out of it. I really get along well with recording at home, gives us a chance to really do what we want with our songs. That was at the place we practise though. It's this big building which used to be a lingerie factory or something weird like that, so everything looks amazing. That staircase has since become the main entrance, which is good, but now we can't record there, which is bad. Recording with Sam is pretty amazing for people like me who absolutely loved everything Late Of The Pier did, so it was really interesting to see what he's like as a producer. He got what we were trying to do really quickly, or maybe he just helped us find exactly what it was we were trying to do. Well I'm friends with him through his brother who is one of my best friends, so we've always followed what he's been doing musically.

I've been reading your Twitter. Did you manage to complete Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 without cheating?
Rory: We don't often brag, but if there's anything Jake and I have a talent for, it's Tony Hawk. We got Tony Hawk 2 out recently and were astonished that we were ever good at it, it's so slow and ridiculously tedious. Tony Hawk's 3 and onwards (PS2 era), that's where the real talent shines through. Other than that (and Goldeneye on N64) we don't really play games. We do both skate in real life; one of us is a lot better than the other. I'll leave you to decide which.

Hot Horizons. Does your name relate to those heatwaves you sometimes see, like the mirage scene in Lawrence of Arabia?
Jake: I'm not entirely sure where the name came from to be honest. We started the band around last October when I knew I would be going away for a couple of months and I guess it may have been the aspiration at the time, getting to hotter horizons, I think that may be the only slightly valid reasoning behind the name.
On the subject of horizons, I recently heard on QI that if you're stood at a certain eye level, you are always three miles away from the horizon. It was explained a lot better on that though.

What is your favourite rap song at the moment?
Rory: For me it's probably Kanye West "Runaway", it's got a really lame chorus but it's definitely my favourite of all the new Kanye stuff. I like hip-hop. Yes, I do.

We featured Egyptian Hip Hop a little while ago and they've remixed your single.
Rory: Yeah, I used to be in a pretty sweet (shit) punk band and we played with Hewett and Nick's old band (Copycats) a few times around Nottingham. They're also friends with Sam Eastgate and his brother, so we've known them a while. But I also really love what they do. I really dig their new EP, can't stop listening to it, and the production's amazing on it.

You are brothers in a band together. Does this mean when fame arrives you will start fighting a lot, inevitably leading to a lasting split in the band? What will you do after you split up? Does one of you have a secret passion for free jazz or reggae you can explore?
Jake: After we inevitably split up in a Gallagher-esque fallout, I'm going to start a band with six bassists, and nothing else. Alternatively synth-player (in every sense) Tom and I will pursue our love for pizza and take our blog nationwide.

Hot Horizons debut single is out now on Zarcorp.

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Dollars to Pounds: Hot Horizons